On Wednesday, April 3, the UAB School of Education, along with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Student Affairs, hosted author Diane McWhorter for a series of events surrounding her Pulitzer prize-winning book Carry Me Home. McWhorter's book contains interviews with activists and Ku Klux Klan members and presents FBI and police records about the civil rights battle in Birmingham. A native of Birmingham, McWhorter describes personal memories of her time as a child in the South during the 1960s.

McWhorter spoke to students in elementary and secondary education courses about the civil rights movement in Birmingham as well as current issues surrounding social justice.

“Diane McWhorter has become a trusted voice in the conversation about civil rights in this country,” said Paulette Patterson Dilworth, vice president for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

In the evening, McWhorter gave a public lecture which was attended by UAB faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members. She spoke on her personal experiences growing up in Birmingham during the civil rights movement and reflected on the nation’s current civil and human rights struggles.

The events were the culmination of a year-long series of book talks and critical conversations within the School of Education that were facilitated by the dean of the school, Autumn Tooms Cyprès. At the beginning of the academic year, each faculty and staff member was given a copy of McWhorter’s book and invited to participate in monthly discussions surrounding Carry Me Home in addition to contemporary topics of access, equity and inclusion.

“Our time together unpacking Diane McWhorter’s book as a school, and in the greater context of the national conversations about diversity, has been one of the highlights of the year,” said Dean Cyprès. “I know for sure that such considerations of the purpose of our school relative to the rich context and current events of where we work and live are as challenging as they are energizing.”